The Importance Of Cultural Heritage In India

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Aldous Huxley is known to have famously said “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” One such brutally ignored fact would be the plunder of cultural heritage around the world and the up to US$3 billion plundered art and antiquities trade that it contributes to. The looting of cultural heritage is a practice as ancient as warfare itself and with the development of the world 's great civilizations, the proverbial "spoils of war" have often included national and cultural treasures. This, unfortunately, is a fact that is true for India, a country known for its rich and varied cultural heritage. The illegal export of Indian art treasures is not a new practice. With the Indian art market growing at a phenomenal rate the demand for art treasures has expanded to include a lower price segment and regardless of the age of the works these have begun to command value. Hence, the illegal trade, which was earlier restricted to royal collections in the process of being disbursed, has now begun to impact anything that comes with a tag of being “cultural heritage”. There are multiple reports of thefts taking place in locked up palaces of Rajasthan or originals in museums that are sold off and replaced with cheap fakes. As per an article published in a leading newspaper,an investigation was conducted a few years ago which led to the startling discovery of the small fortunes accumulated by villagers belonging to Berachampa village (also known as the pilferer’s

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